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Calgary mom accuses courier giant DHL of charging 'hidden fees' | CBC News

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[OP]
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Calgary mom accuses courier giant DHL of charging 'hidden fees' | CBC News

Calgary mom accuses courier giant DHL of charging 'hidden fees' | CBC News

The CBC at its worst :(

This is about the "brokerage fee" that ALL shipping companies use. Strange that CBC targeted DHL but didn't mention any of the others, especially UPS.

Also a bit sleazy that the people they featured all bought ~$25 of merchandise. Just enough to trigger the charges by exceeding the $20 duty free threshold. That's like complaining that a pharmacy's $10 dispensing fee is outrageous when the medication costs on $10 and failing to omit that the fee would also apply if the medication cost $100 or even $1,000.

And no mention of the $20 duty-free threshold which is why all of this happens in the first place. If that threshold was similar to other countries like the US or the same $800 that's used for travellers then a $20 brokerage fee would be a small percentage of the total amount rather than 100% or even more.
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bylo wrote: Calgary mom accuses courier giant DHL of charging 'hidden fees' | CBC News

The CBC at its worst :(

This is about the "brokerage fee" that ALL shipping companies use. Strange that CBC targeted DHL but didn't mention any of the others, especially UPS.

Also a bit sleazy that the people they featured all bought ~$25 of merchandise. Just enough to trigger the charges by exceeding the $20 duty free threshold. That's like complaining that a pharmacy's $10 dispensing fee is outrageous when the medication costs on $10 and failing to omit that the fee would also apply if the medication cost $100 or even $1,000.

And no mention of the $20 duty-free threshold which is why all of this happens in the first place. If that threshold was similar to other countries like the US or the same $800 that's used for travellers then a $20 brokerage fee would be a small percentage of the total amount rather than 100% or even more.
Well if we had a higher deminimus threshold how would Loblaw and Co charge us an arm and a leg for merchandise? And how would our retail industry, where abusing the customer is the name of the game, survive against the US' customer focused businesses?

Gotta protect our industry :rolleyes:
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Nobody likes shippers. They already make us pay through the nose for shipping fees. And then they have the gall to double dip with invented handling fees. Anything that hurts them is good.

Just because DHL abuses us with less fees than UPS or FedEx doesn't mean they are not still being abusive.
[OP]
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Poutinesauce wrote: Nobody likes shippers. They already make us pay through the nose for shipping fees. And then they have the gall to double dip with invented handling fees. Anything that hurts them is good.
I don't have any love for shipping companies either. But they operate a business, they have expenses to pay and they're justified in charging for their services.

Charging $15 or $20 for clearing is reasonable and makes sense on higher-valued items. But it's no wonder that people are outraged when it costs as much to process an import as the value of that import itself. That's why raising the threshold makes sense. That's also why Canada Post usually applies a higher threshold unofficially, e.g. usually lets stuff under ~$100 go through without charging HST/duty. It seems that the other shippers either don't have the discretion to waive this like CPC does, or they intentionally refuse to use that discretion in order to milk the unsuspecting public.
Just because DHL abuses us with less fees than UPS or FedEx doesn't mean they are not still being abusive.
My point in the OP is that CBC targeted DHL without mentioning that they all do it. That's just plain lousy "journalism." They should all be condemned.
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Nov 11, 2008
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The article is full of fail

1. customer paid for the delivery, and she being 30-40 something should know when anything comes into the country, and it will be taxed.

2. When you use a courier, it goes though their designated broker. They dont have CBSA on-site to clear items like Canada Post. They have to pay them. 15-20$ flat rate isn't highway robbery. Not their fault the exemption rate is so low For me, 20$ is worth the premium for them to do it rather than me making a trip to the airport, pay parking, and drive back home.

3. All couriers have this fee. who doesnt? Canada post is the only service that isn't considered a courier
Last edited by EPcjay on Mar 8th, 2021 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Feb 4, 2011
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bylo wrote: Calgary mom accuses courier giant DHL of charging 'hidden fees' | CBC News

The CBC at its worst :(

This is about the "brokerage fee" that ALL shipping companies use. Strange that CBC targeted DHL but didn't mention any of the others, especially UPS.

Also a bit sleazy that the people they featured all bought ~$25 of merchandise. Just enough to trigger the charges by exceeding the $20 duty free threshold. That's like complaining that a pharmacy's $10 dispensing fee is outrageous when the medication costs on $10 and failing to omit that the fee would also apply if the medication cost $100 or even $1,000.

And no mention of the $20 duty-free threshold which is why all of this happens in the first place. If that threshold was similar to other countries like the US or the same $800 that's used for travellers then a $20 brokerage fee would be a small percentage of the total amount rather than 100% or even more.
Spot on Bylo. CBC wanted to make it sound like a scam using the words like "hidden fees", while this is standard practice by all the courriers and infact, UPS and Fedex would charge an "advancement fee" as well. Singling out DHL isn't fair.
While I do hate the brokerage fees, It is the responsibility of the seller to get the buyer accept the clause about additional brokerage fees, before clicking the "place order" button. But sellers would never do that as it discourages the customers.

Courriers are charging what they are allowed to charge by the government. Why can't government allow customs clearances online? Why brokerage fee varies by cost of the product? Can't government mandate fixed brokerage fee? Absolutely possible but won't happen. I will be surprised if CBC ever raises these questions.
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Feb 4, 2011
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Poutinesauce wrote: Nobody likes shippers. They already make us pay through the nose for shipping fees. And then they have the gall to double dip with invented handling fees. Anything that hurts them is good.
Pay through the nose? What datapoints did you use to figure out the actual cost of shipping your product from origin to destination, to justify your claim?
Poutinesauce wrote: Just because DHL abuses us with less fees than UPS or FedEx doesn't mean they are not still being abusive.
I don't know what do you mean by abuse. It is a service fee charged by Business, to use their services. If you find it abusive, why don't you use other Clearance Brokers and let us know which broker does a no-charge clearance.
[OP]
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dealz4all wrote: Courriers are charging what they are allowed to charge by the government.
I wasn't aware that the government regulates what couriers charge for brokerage. Do you have a link?
Why brokerage fee varies by cost of the product?
It may be based on the complexity of the clearance. Something that enters duty free, say under NAFTA, may be easy to clear, so a relatively low brokerage fee. A similar item from a country where there's no trade treaty may require some research to categorize properly, so a relatively higher fee.
Can't government mandate fixed brokerage fee? Absolutely possible but won't happen.
Governments are generally hands-off, letting the market determine the fees. Even in regulated industries, e.g. airlines, telcos, banks, etc. governments don't set fees although they may set rules to cap fees, e.g. interest rates on loans.
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EPcjay wrote: 1. customer paid for the delivery, and she being 30-40 something should know when anything comes into the country, and it will be taxed.
You are being too rationalSmiling Face With Open Mouth. Why should we be aware of import duties and other fees involved in importing a commodity into our country? That is personal resoponsibility and accountability, which we hate. We order from US coz it is cheap there and expect it to be delivered to us, coz we are 51st state of USSmiling Face With Open Mouth
EPcjay wrote: 2. When you use a courier, it goes though their designated broker. They dont have CBSA on-site to clear items like Canada Post. They have to pay them. 15-20$ flat rate isn't highway robbery. Not their fault the exemption rate is so low For me, 20$ is worth the premium for them to do it rather than me making a trip to the airport, pay parking, and drive back home.
Lol, people should call around clearance brokers. They would be surprised about the fees they charge.
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Feb 4, 2011
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bylo wrote: I wasn't aware that the government regulates what couriers charge for brokerage. Do you have a link?
Sorry I didn't explain it well. I meant to say, courriers aren't forbidden from charging a fee to do customs clearance. So they are doing what they are allowed to do by government. So it is not their fault on charging brokerage fee
bylo wrote: It may be based on the complexity of the clearance. Something that enters duty free, say under NAFTA, may be easy to clear, so a relatively low brokerage fee. A similar item from a country where there's no trade treaty may require some research to categorize properly, so a relatively higher fee.
I do understand if there is any complexity involved, but the brokerage fee difference between $500 TV and $5000 TV is not acceptable, as the effort involved is the same. And with the technology and information available, courriers whose prime business is logistics would have complete database of all the itemized commodities available to them, so I doubt the complexities involved.
bylo wrote: Governments are generally hands-off, letting the market determine the fees. Even in regulated industries, e.g. airlines, telcos, banks, etc. governments don't set fees although they may set rules to cap fees, e.g. interest rates on loans.
Then people shouldn't be complaining about Business and accept the freemarket. Government does have power to cap the fees, but chose not to exercise it. FYI, I guess around 2017, Finance minister didn't allow BMO to reduce the mortgage rates beyond a certain point, as it would have risks of foreclosures when rates go up after intial 5 years. And Lenders like Money mart have a max cap on interest rates they can charge.

My point being, Business cannot be blamed, when government allows them do operate at their will.
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I'd like to think she will have learned a valuable lesson as to why a Canadian mom and pop shop has to charge $40 for the "same item I can get for only $25 online!!", but given the way this was presented, I doubt it.
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Pauly Boy wrote: I'd like to think she will have learned a valuable lesson as to why a Canadian mom and pop shop has to charge $40 for the "same item I can get for only $25 online!!", but given the way this was presented, I doubt it.
What valuable lesson is there to learn other than both shippers and Canadian retailers love to gauge their customers because they can?

If any lesson is to be learned, it is to only use governmental shippers, because in many if not most cases they are too lazy to examine your parcel and charge you any taxes or fees, and to use AliExpress as much as possible, to cut out the middle man and stick it to Canadian retailers, since they all import stuff from China, triple the price, and have the gall to call it "Canadian goods".

It's the only way I see not to be abused.
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I receive a lot of small value shipments from China by DHL (PCB assemblies for testing). The clearance charge always seems to come to around $25, even when there is only a small amount of GST owing. The clearance process is fully automated; they text notification of payment due and I log on to their site to pay. There's no earthly reason it should cost $20 each time, especially since the cost of inspecting packages is carried completely by the Canadian Government.
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Pauly Boy wrote: I'd like to think she will have learned a valuable lesson as to why a Canadian mom and pop shop has to charge $40 for the "same item I can get for only $25 online!!", but given the way this was presented, I doubt it.
What Canadian mom and pop shop carries "a football jersey from his favourite team in Dublin"? Perhaps in this case her only option was to buy overseas and thus no Canadian mom and pop shop was harmed as a result.
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Would DHL charge extra fees if you've already pre-paid customs through Amazon (e.g Amazon UK or Amazon Japan) ??
Has anyone ever encountered a problem with DHL from Amazon in different countries?
If DHL does charge extra after pre-paying customs, then screw that.
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bylo wrote: What Canadian mom and pop shop carries "a football jersey from his favourite team in Dublin"? Perhaps in this case her only option was to buy overseas and thus no Canadian mom and pop shop was harmed as a result.
There is a very nice shop in the downtown area of Calgary that sells all sorts of UK goods. Probably could've got it from there.
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lazycow9 wrote: Would DHL charge extra fees if you've already pre-paid customs through Amazon (e.g Amazon UK or Amazon Japan) ??
Has anyone ever encountered a problem with DHL from Amazon in different countries?
If you've already paid Canadian duty/HST at point of sale then DHL (or any other shipper) has no business charging you again. This is how many US-based online sellers operate. They have an agreement with CBSA to collect duty/HST in the US and remit it directly to Canada. The packages they ship are precleared so there's no value being added by DHL (et al) in terms of brokerage.

Make sure that what you were charged by DHL is for the same thing that you were charged by Amazon UK or JA. It's possible that A-UK charged you VAT by error and now DHL is validly charging HST. OTOH if A-UK charged you Canadian HST then DHL shouldn't charge you the same thing again, never mind a brokerage fee on top of that.
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bylo wrote: Calgary mom accuses courier giant DHL of charging 'hidden fees' | CBC News

The CBC at its worst :(

This is about the "brokerage fee" that ALL shipping companies use. Strange that CBC targeted DHL but didn't mention any of the others, especially UPS.

Also a bit sleazy that the people they featured all bought ~$25 of merchandise. Just enough to trigger the charges by exceeding the $20 duty free threshold. That's like complaining that a pharmacy's $10 dispensing fee is outrageous when the medication costs on $10 and failing to omit that the fee would also apply if the medication cost $100 or even $1,000.

And no mention of the $20 duty-free threshold which is why all of this happens in the first place. If that threshold was similar to other countries like the US or the same $800 that's used for travellers then a $20 brokerage fee would be a small percentage of the total amount rather than 100% or even more.
$25 shouldn't even tigger it anymore they raised it to $40 for couriers a year ago. its still $20 for the post office. $40 is still to low imo.
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aaron158 wrote: $25 shouldn't even tigger it anymore they raised it to $40 for couriers a year ago. its still $20 for the post office. $40 is still to low imo.
According to Increase to low-value shipment thresholds and other changes the $40 threshold applies only to shipments from US and MX under son-of-NAFTA. AFAIK the $20 threshold remains for all other countries.

I agree that even $40 is too low. The threshold should be at least high enough so that the cost of collecting duty/HST is less than the duty/HST that actually gets collected.
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bylo wrote: According to Increase to low-value shipment thresholds and other changes the $40 threshold applies only to shipments from US and MX under son-of-NAFTA. AFAIK the $20 threshold remains for all other countries.

I agree that even $40 is too low. The threshold should be at least high enough so that the cost of collecting duty/HST is less than the duty/HST that actually gets collected.
ya and funny thing to there was a petition submitted by an MP from somewhere in Ontario i forget witch one was sometime in 2016 or 17 i think asking that it to be put upto at least $200 pretty sure something like 60 to 80000 people signed it and when they reviewed it they just blew it off and gave some non answer.

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